Meet the Chefs of John J. Jeffries.
Chef Sean Cavanaugh
Growing up in Pittsburgh as the oldest of 4 children, Sean Cavanaugh began his restaurant career working as a dishwasher, after the death of his father. Following high school, Sean made it into the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, while still working full-time in restaurant kitchens. After graduation in 1985, Chef Cavanaugh was hired by The Marriott Group. He worked in hotels in Miami, San Diego, New York and Washington D.C., climbing the ranks to Executive Chef. Chef then moved on to other chains such as Hilton, Sheraton and Wyndham to return once again to the Marriott, as Executive Chef for one of their flagship hotels, The Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa, in Colorado. After spending 2 years in Vail, Chef brought his expertise and contagious passion for food back home to Pennsylvania, to open John J. Jeffries in downtown Lancaster. It is here that Chef has realized his true vision of not only what a restaurant should be, but also what a restaurant can do for its local community.
Chef Michael F. Carson
A central Pennsylvania native, Chef Carson is a 1994 graduate of York Suburban High School and received his culinary training from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in 1995. Chef Carson and Chef Cavanaugh met early on in their careers while employed at the Harrisburg Marriott; the pair worked together for the next few years at various locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2000, Chef Carson went to work for the highly acclaimed Charleston Restaurant in Baltimore, MD under the acclaimed Executive Chef Cindy Wolf. Carson worked his way up the ranks to become Chef de Cuisine where he remained until 2006. In the fall of 2006, Chef Carson happily returned home to Pennsylvania to partner with Chef Cavanaugh and open John J. Jeffries restaurant. Carson currently lives in Lancaster with his wife Ladan, whom he met while they were both working at the Harrisburg Marriott along with Cavanaugh. The Carsons have two young children, Leila and William, and a German Shepherd who is the sister to the Cavanaugh's dog Boo. When not at the restaurant, Carson trains as a raw and drug free power lifter and competes in the Anti-Drug Athletes United Federation.